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on the story. will the tax deduction for your mortgage be sacrificed to fix the federal budget? nancy cordes and dean reynolds look at the proposals. elizabeth palmer shows us what a dictatorship doesn't want you to see: the ruin of a nation in civil war. and africa's mighty elephants are slaughtered for their tusks. so who's buying that illegal ivory? holly williams shows us in a hidden camera investigation. >> oh, wow. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. today susan rice had high hopes for what might have been the most important diplomatic mission of her career so far. but the u.s. ambassador to the united nations' attempt to reach agreement with republican senators today failed. rice is a favorite of the president's to be nominated as secretary of state to replace hillary clinton. if he does nominate race, she
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would have to be approved by the senate. margaret brennan is covering for us tonight. margaret? >> reporter: good evening, scott. ambassador rice asked for the meetings on capitol hill today in hopes of patching up differences she has with at least three republicans. the senators have vowed to stop a nomination of rice because of comments she made after the attack on the u.s. consulate in libya. today for the first time she acknowledged her comments were wrong. ambassador race met her toughest critics behind closed doors to explain why she called the september attack on the consulate a spontaneous demonstration when u.s. intelligence suspected it was actually a terrorist assault. after the meeting, republican senators john mccain and lindsey graham had this reaction. >> we are significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got and some that we didn't get. >> all i can tell you that the concerns i have are greater today than they were before and we're not even close to getting the basic answers.
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>> reporter: both senators accused rice of misleading the american public during a series of t.v. interviews five days after the assault. in a public statement today, rice explained that her initial account was wrong because: senator kelly ayotte, republican of new hampshire, says rice should have known better. >> but one of her responsibilities as ambassador to the u.n. she receives daily intelligence briefings and certainly confirmed today that she had received the briefing-- the briefings leading up to this that were on a classified basis. >> reporter: the white house hasn't said when or if rice will get the nomination. but in a news conference two weeks ago, mr. obama seemed to be preparing for a fight. >> if senator john mccain and senator graham and others want
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to go after somebody they should go after me. and i'm happy to have that discussion with them. >> reporter: senator ayotte said she would be willing to put a hold on a rice nomination which, under senate rules, means it would likely never come up for approval and effectively be dead. scott? >> pelley: margaret, thank you. who is susan rice? she held several positions in the collation on the national security council as an expert on african affairs and then as assistant secretary of state. rice was confirmed in the senate in 2009 unanimously for her current job as america's ambassador to the united nations. washington is also splitting tonight over the issue that is going to affect your taxes in just 34 days. that is the so-called fiscal cliff: automatic tax increases and federal budget cuts that will be imposed unless president obama and congress can make a deal on budget reform.
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not even everyone in the president's own party is with him on this and nancy cordes is on capitol hill for us tonight. nancy? >> reporter: scott, a rift has opened up between the white house and liberal democrats over what should be on the table in these talks. some democrats even say they're willing to let all the bush tax cuts expire, at least temporarily, even if they don't get the deal they want. senator patti murray of washington state is one of them. she says negotiations should focus far more on raising tax revenue than cutting spending. republicans are calling democrats like you "thelma and louise" democrats because you've expressed a willingness to go off the fiscal cliff. >> i'm willing to take a very tough stand and say to those on the other side that we are not going to accept an unfair deal that hurts middle-class america today and protect the wealthiest americans. period. >> reporter: in the house, at least 42 liberal democrats have signed on to a bill requiring that any deal aimed at staving
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off the fiscal cliff contain no medicare, medicaid, and social security benefit cuts. it puts them at odds with the president who has said everything should be on the table, including entitlements, senate republican leader mitch mcconnell. >> we want to save these programs and i understand the dilemma the president and the majority leader have. their hard left doesn't want to change anything ever. >> reporter: but the top senate democrat harry reid says republicans are the ones dragging their heels. there's been little progress with the republicans, which is a disappointment to me. they've talked some happy talk about doing revenues, but we only have a couple weeks to get something done. >> reporter: republicans point out that medicare and medicaid are the largest future drivers of the debt. they say they won't agree to increased revenue from taxes unless they get entitlement cuts as well. scott, it's safe to say there are going to be people on the right and left howling mad at no
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matter what this deal looks like. >> pelley: nancy, thank you very much. one idea they're looking at is scaling back one of the most popular tax breaks of all: the mortgage deduction. dean reynolds will tell us more about this later in the broadcast. that crisis in egypt is growing tonight. more than 200,000 protesters have filled cairo's tahrir square. they are angry with their new president, mohamed morsi who said last week that his decisions cannot be challenged by the courts which gives him almost absolute power. and our holly williams is above tahrir square in cairo this evening. holly, what's going on in the crowd behind you now? >> reporter: scott, we are seeing scenes reminisce september of the egyptian revolution. tahrir square was once again carpeted in people today, tens of thousands of people who poured in from every direction and they were chanting the same slogan that they chanted during the revolution. the people want the downfall of
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the regime. i was out on this square earlier today talking to people. some people are saying that they won't leave the streets until president morsi rescinds the decrees that have given him sweeping new powers. we've seen very low-level violence here in cairo, but in several other cities there have been violent confrontations between president morsi's supporters and his opponents. >> pelley: is there any indication that all of this public demonstration is moving morsi to rescind his decree? >> reporter: well, if president morsi backs down now, that will be a big loss of prestige for him. but his opponents are clearly equally determined. and what that leaves us with is a stalemate and deep divisions in egypt's young democracy. >> pelley: a long way to go yet, holly, thank you very much. nearby in the middle east, the syrian dictatorship has been fighting for nearly a year and a half to put down a popular rebellion. 40,000 syrians are dead.
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it is rare for reporters to get into the battle zone, but our elizabeth palmer managed to make her way to the city of homs, one of the first places to rebel. more than half a million people lived there, but have a look at it now. it now. >> reporter: here's what's left when the battle moves on. just over a year ago, these desolate streets hummed with life. baby amr was a bustling ne babr amr was a bustling neighborhood until suddenly it turned into the epicenter of syria's civil war. armed opposition gunmen against the syrian military machine. after months of ferocious fighting, the syrian army did manage to take back babr amr, but at terrible cost. even now only 5% of the residents have returned and the fight has just moved down the road. but to get to it, we had to take a surreal trip through a fully functioning business district crowded with shoppers and students then down a street. the next front line was marked
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by tanks and syrian soldiers. a young captain who wanted to be known only as omar offered to show us around. look at this. wow. months of fighting have shattered this part of the old city. >> this street, snipers. >> reporter: now? >> no. >> reporter: omar gestured to a curtain hung in an alley to block the snipers' view. even so, when soldiers pass the place, they duck. just behind these battle-scarred buildings rebel fighters are still in control. we climbed inside to try and have a look. there's not a lot moving out there. we might be able to see more from this hole but they say it's too big. that if we get visible we'll be sniped at. so there are rebel snipers in
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the buildings just across the alley. the private on duty told me the army has the rebels' surrounded on all sides. and how do they get supplies? food, water, ammunition? "mostly through tunnels" he told me. "and the sewage system." so this fight for central homs scatters on with pot shots from both sides. the army at war now on multiple fronts across the country has here been forced to accept a draw. >> pelley: liz palmer is in the syrian capital, damascus. liz, syria has one of the largest armies in the middle east. why hasn't the dictatorship been able to put down the rebellion? >> reporter: well, for a start, they're fighting on dozens of fronts and up and down the country. but secondly, this not terribly well trained army is fighting a
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very nimble mobile insurgency and that is the most difficult kind of warfare. >> pelley: the war has been encroaching on the capital where you are now over the last several months. what's the fighting been like there today? >> reporter: inside the city, hit-and-run attacks, sporadic gunfire. but in the suburbs really heavy shelling. the heaviest we've seen so far from the air from fighter planes and also mortars and tank shells. in fact, until just a few minutes ago the windows were rattling here in the hotel. >> pelley: no end in sight. liz, thanks very much. scientists studying climate change are warning of a new source of greenhouse gases warming the earth. and who is buying the illegal tusks of slaughtered elephants? our hidden camera investigation coming up when the "cbs evening news." anncr: but you deserve straight talk about the options on the... table and what they mean for you and your family.
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>> pelley: of all the federal income tax deductions, one has been considered untouchable: the deduction for interest on mortgages. 40 million americans take advantage of it, and they save an average of $600 a year. now washington is looking at it now washington is looking at it to help heal the budget. here's dean reynolds. >> reporter: how is the market right now would you say? >> i think things are better. >> reporter: chicago area realtor debbie scully shudders at the idea that the tax deduction on mortgage interest may be on the congressional carving table. what would that do to your business? >> well, it certainly wouldn't be good. now there's a glimmer of hope
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that looks like things are stabilizing. why would they do anything that could hurt that? >> reporter: scully helped stacy litow sell her home. >> i always thought that that's one of the incentives to buying. >> reporter: builders love the tax break, too, because it helps support the market for big homes. the larger the mortgage, the greater the deduction. but it will cost the treasury nearly $100 billion next year. so now the talk in washington is about lowering the cap for the maximum mortgage amount you can claim interest on down from one million dollars. economist diane swonk. >> if you keep the deduction for the bulk of americans but eliminate it for the oversized homes you still get the american dream. >> reporter: affluent owners in expensive areas-- especially on the coasts-- would see the biggest change. >> if you have the money and you want to spend it feel free to do that. but, you know, i'd much rather see lower tax rates or
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deductibility for investment in our future which creates productivity which creates higher potential for the future of the economy rather than just big homes. >> reporter: now, economists who favor lowering the cap on mortgage debt eligible for a deduction from a million dollars to $500,000 say it could help reduce the deficit and keep interest rates low and, scott, that could help the housing market all by itself. >> pelley: dean, thank you. just ahead, researchers have discovered a piece of world war ii history off the coast of florida. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. it raises your testosterone levels, and... is concentrated, so you could use less gel.
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scientists say cause climate change are now coming from a new source: permafrost. that's the thick layer of organic material surrounding the arctic circle. it's been frozen for hundreds of years but today the u.n. reported it's thawing. carbon dioxide and methane from the permafrost are being released from the permafrost, which may speed up climate change. researchers made a discovery off miami beach, a fighter plane that may date back to world war ii. the grumman f-6-f hellcat is mostly intact, though, upside down 240 feet below the surface. it's not known when or why it went down but 79 hellcats like this one crashed off florida's east coast between 1943 and '52. who is paying top dollar for elephant tusks? our hidden camera investigation is next.
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call or click to learn more. [ male announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. tracking it on hi- def dopp. next on cbs 5 we are inviting the media to attend a concert at our cams tuesday, international gangs are making a fortune by slaughtering african elephants and selling their tusks. tens of thousands of these majestic creatures are being killed every year. yesterday, we showed you the desperate measures being taken by conservationists to save them. they are cutting off the elephant tusks so they will be less of a target. we have now tracked the illegal market in elephant tusks from tanzania and kenya, north to cairo, egypt. holly williams went undercover to find it. >> reporter: it's not difficult to buy ivory in cairo. in this busy market, we found essam, an egyptian ivory trader. >> here, real ivory. this all ivory.
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>> reporter: selling ivory is against the law in egypt. but when we told him we were buyers, he showed us into the back room, where he keeps his stock. we filmed our meeting with a hidden camera. essam told us his business was booming, and his best customers, he said, are from china. >> he will show you some receipts from chinese customers. >> reporter: he showed us six elephant tusks and offered to sell us a pair for just under $2,000. in china, they would sell for up to 10 times that price. essam shared a special trick for smuggling ivory that he told us his chinese customers had taught him: spray-painting it to make it look like wood or metal. it's easily removed later on with nail polish remover. what we have seen here is part
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of a global trade in smuggled ivory. and experts say that what's driving it is wealthy chinese, who prize ivory as a status symbol. in the same cairo market, we found several other ivory traders operating openly. what about something as big as this? along with some of their chinese customers. one shop owner told us this his clients included chinese officials who had visited egypt on state business. >> the special airplane going back -- >> reporter: you get chinese government officials? >> yes. >> reporter: they bought from you? >> yeah. >> reporter: the egyptian government makes periodic attempts to confiscate illegal tusks. they are locked up inside this museum store room. that's heavy. but it represents just a fraction of the ivory that's trafficked from africa to china to meet the demand for ornate carving so prized by wealthy chinese, often selling for tens of thousands of dollars.
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>> that is the poached ivory. >> reporter: we showed our footage to tom milliken, who works with a group tracking the illegal wildlife trade in africa. he told us he is fighting a losing battle with chinese criminal gangs. >> chinese are out there moving through rural areas, telling african nationals, we'll give you this amount of money. and that amount of money is more than these people would see in a year. >> reporter: how big is the challenge with china? >> there's just so many potential consumers. there's just so many potential smugglers. there's so much wealth that can be employed to do the wrong thing and not the right thing. >> reporter: while the chinese authorities have made efforts to seize trafficked ivory, they refused to answer our questions, including allegations that government officials are involved in smuggling, which means that elephants will continue to be slaughtered in the thousands to feed an illegal market in trinkets and carvings that keeps growing.
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holly williams, cbs news, cairo. >> and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. the clouds are rolling in. d the bay area is bracing fora r of a storm. we're >> your realtime captioner: linda marie macdonald. good evening, i'm allen martin. >> i'm dana king. the clouds are rolling in and the bay area is bracing for a monster of a storm. we're talking 8 or more inches of rain in some spots. and that's just the half of it. we are also in for some wild wind. chief meteorologist paul deanno is tracking the storm for us. >> that wind will actually be first as soon as tomorrow morning many of you waking up to the sound of the gusty winds outside but the big event will be this rainfall. flooding rainfall is now very likely for much of the bay area. several straight days of rainfall with the heaviest of
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the rain not getting here until friday so what's first up, weather-wise here, will be the wind and rain that arrive tonight. now, this rain is not going to be enough to cause flooding, but this wind is going to cause a rough morning commute. 4 a.m. to 11 a.m. tomorrow morning, wind advisory in effect. all of us will see wind gusts up to 45 miles per hour, winds stronger higher hilltops at the coasts up to 60 miles per hour maybek a mess of the morning commute. -- making a mess of the morning commute. hi-def doppler not tracking any rainfall yet. rain and wind still several hours away. there is an atmospheric river of moisture that's out in the pacific and it's going to get consolidated and steered right toward the bay area. there's the potential for some very heavy rainfall moving in towards thursday and friday. look at futurecast. watch these colors quickly change into the reds. north of the golden gate, three inches of rainfall by thursday. that's before

CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley
CBS November 27, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

News/Business. Scott Pelley. (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Pelley 9, Cairo 7, Scott 5, Washington 5, China 4, Holly Williams 4, Egypt 4, U.s. 3, Levemir 2, Levemir Flexpen 2, Elizabeth Palmer 2, Susan Rice 2, United Nations 2, U.n. 2, Cbs 2, Liz 2, Margaret 2, John Mccain 2, Essam 2, America 2
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Duration 00:30:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
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Audio Cocec ac3
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on 11/28/2012